Tweetsgiving in 6 Days: How I Came to Know Buenos Aires (& Myself) Better

CauseCapitalism_Tweetsgiving_logoI’m taking a pause from writings on consumer trends, interviews and ‘you shoulds’ to reflect on the Tweetsgiving event I’m hosting tonight in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I moved to Buenos Aires 25 days ago. Six days ago Epic Change and Tweetsgiving champion Stacey Monk asked if I would host an event  here and I agreed. Tweetsgiving is simply a campaign to give thanks. It takes place online and at parties and events held around the world. This year, six continents are host to 40 parties. I  can proudly say that Buenos Aires is Tweetsgiving’s only South American outpost. A secondary component of Tweetsgiving is fundraising for Mama Lucy’s primary school in Arusha, Tanzania. Last year, more than $10,000 was raised to build a classroom. A goal of $100,000 this year would construct a cafeteria, library, dormitory/orphanage and additional classroom.

Thus agreed to host, I scratched my head about how to do it with few contacts and local knowledge. The process of putting this together has reinforced a salient lesson:  It’s worth the effort and state of vulnerability to organize events because of the people who meet along the way. With an event as my shield and emblem, my outreach and sponsorship requests aren’t about me but about the mission of the event. I contacted sponsors with some trepidation (who would want to sponsor a gringo’s event? I don’t even speak the language), but have been delighted by the results. My sponsorship record is 2 for 2 here and what’s more, the business owners are interested in establishing a relationship with me–a personal relationship, not just a clutch at customer loyalty. They are dedicated community-builders who don’t see nationality as a criterium, and this I did not anticipate.  I’ve spent hours posting Tweetsgiving Buenos Aires on local volunteers sites and directly emailing individuals who’ve not a clue who I am. Many people have not replied but those who have make my heart soar for a few moments. I’ve forged some wonderful nascent connections that I can develop more deeply during my time here.

During these six days, I’ve wondered sporadically (like in the midst of dialing an organization a dozen times because I don’t understand how to call an extension…and then leaving a garbled Spanglish voicemail) why I’m putting so much effort into this. Why not invite the 10 people that I know and drink beer at a bar with the 5 who show up and call it Tweetsgiving? No one’s looking and Stacey and her team never asked me for more.  Truth be told, I think the answer is a combination of being stimulated by the challenge, taking pride in my work and being awed by the vision (and now manifestation) that the Tweetsgiving team has set.

I don’t know what tonight will yield and I’m still feeling out my role as a facilitator. The guest list is growing but still unconfirmed. I’m picking up dessert from my two sponsors this evening, Sugar & Spice and The Cupcake is Under the Table. My new Argentine friends would tell me to be tranquilo. It’s the mode of living here, at least ostensibly. So I will. I will focus my thoughts on the amazing people that I’ve connected with during the past six days, on an event of simple gratitude and on a lesson reinforced, no matter the country, language or aim.



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  1. Andrew Warner November 25, 2009 at 6:22 am #

    I’ve watched you put this together, so I know how much work you put in. One of the side benefits from helping to put this together is that you’re getting to meet new people in Buenos Aires and in the do-gooder world in general.

  2. Nacho Bottinelli November 25, 2009 at 6:45 am #

    I think that any event you start, the very first time is quite “difficult” to make the noise possible to get known and get people to come. But, after the first one there are always people who wants to participate on the next edition and will spread the word.

    I´ve heard of the event yesterday and i´m sure that will be the kick for more. If you need help just let me know. See you tonite.


  3. admin November 25, 2009 at 7:52 am #

    Nacho, thanks for your comment. You are one of the great connections I’ve made from this! I look forward to meeting you tonight for the first of many times, I’m sure.

  4. Kirsten Winkler November 25, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    Isn’t it great to jump in the cold water again? Life can be so boring when you arrive in your comfort zone and you don’t even realize it. I really live for moments you describe here. Although I am not sure if I would have done something like this after I arrived in France 4 years ago.

    After six weeks we even thought of going back to Germany because the French mentality drove us up the walls :). Really outstanding and I wish you all the best for the event.

  5. admin November 25, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    Kirsten, what a great comment. These are the types of experiences that we can share living out of our comfort zone (as difficult as it is sometimes). It’s exactly like what you said: Andrew and I were just going through the routines–and some of them were great, but we were looking to change our whole focal point. And voila, we have for the time being. Thanks so much for your kind words. Are you in Paris? It’s Andrew’s favorite place in the world. I lived a semester in Lyon.


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